As Massachusetts continues to reemerge from the shutdown, restaurants are getting their al fresco areas up and running for dine-in patrons. Read on for a curated list of some of the best decks, patios, rooftops and sidewalk spots where you can enjoy a good meal while maintaining your social distance from fellow diners. You can sort by neighborhood if you’re looking for something nearby or just scroll to see if your regular hang is on the list — we’ll be adding restaurants as they open for on-site dining so stay tuned and definitely check back for updates.
Word to the wise: we’ll be adjusting the info below as the situation continues to evolve and restaurants figure out what works for them (and you!) so it’s still probably your best bet to give the restaurant a ring to make sure they can accommodate you.
Chef-owner Carolyn Johnson and her 80 Thoreau team have opened up a 22-seat al fresco dining area outside their popular Concord restaurant. They're accepting reservations for their five tables at specific seating times throughout the evening so you can enjoy their straightforward-yet-refined New American cuisine out under the open sky.
Milton's Abby Park has added a cozy little outdoor dining area right out on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant. You might have to get there early to grab one of the tables but you'll be rewarded with a menu of your favorite classic American comfort foods.
With high walls and lush greenery, Alba’s rooftop dining area makes it easy to forget that you’re dining in the middle of Quincy Center. It’s a perfect location for eating a steak under the stars or enjoying the game with a cold drink and some fresh air.
Located on Lovejoy Wharf, Alcove has a delightful patio right on the harbor walk and boasts a stunning view of the Zakim Bridge AND it's dog friendly! The flowery but sleek patio is perfect for enjoying Alcove's Mediterranean cuisine with friends (two- or four-legged).
Alden & Harlow
40 Brattle Street Cambridge, MA 02138 617-864-2100
The subterranean spot on Brattle Street is bringing their cult favorite Secret Burger outdoors with their large patio. The seasonal hang sports blue umbrellas so you can lounge in the shade while you sip a cocktail and people watch in Harvard Square.
111 Harvard Street Cambridge, MA 02139 617-868-7600
Amelia’s Trattoria, just outside Kendall Square, offers Cantabrigians a perfect spot to get some fresh air and recharge with menus of authentic Italian fare for lunch or dinner. The piccolo sidewalk patio is lined with flowering plants and shrubs, and covered by shade-casting umbrellas.
Aquitaine, the grande dame of the South End’s French restaurants, invites diners to enjoy their meals en plein air on their sidewalk patio. The elegant little Tremont Street perch is lined with planters and shaded by striped umbrellas (très chic, as the French would say).
Aquitaine Chestnut Hill
11 Boylston Street Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 617-734-8400
Newtonians can just take a quick jaunt down Route 9 for classic French fare en plein air on the new garden patio out behind Aquitaine Chestnut Hill. Book a table for dinner any night of the week or Sunday brunch to have all your favorites out in the fresh air.
Area Four Cambridge
500 Technology Square Cambridge, MA 02139 617-758-4444
Looking out over the green at Technology Square, Area Four’s patio is a perfect perch for an outdoor meal. Snag one of the wrought iron tables for lunch or dinner and enjoy chef-owner Jeff Pond's menu of small plates, sandwiches and wood-fired pizzas (don't miss the garlic knots or the Brussels sprouts salad, which have been mainstays since way back).
25 Edwin H Land Boulevard Cambridge, MA 02141 617-868-4444
Bambara has expanded their outdoor seating area, taking over the Kimpton Marlowe Hotel's courtyard to allow for social distanced seating, in a lovely outdoor setting. Just a stone’s throw from the banks of the Charles, it’s an awfully nice spot for a bite to eat and some fresh air.
In the summer months, oyster lovers and seafood fans spill out onto the picturesque little patio at B&G Oysters. Fresh seafood tastes best outside, so seats on the shaded, just-below-grade terrace fill up quickly.
Satisfy your craving for a coastal Italian vacay right in the South End on Bar Mezzana’s sidewalk patio. Blue skies and bright umbrellas will have to stand in for towering cliffs and water views but Colin Lynch deceptively simple regional cuisine (try the crudo) will transport you.